Road users urged to be vigilant this weekend
ROAD USERS have been given a simple message from gardaí in advance of the bank holiday weekend: take all necessary steps to protect yourselves.
The traditionally high-risk weekend for road fatalities saw four deaths on the roads from Friday to Monday of the corresponding weekend in 2011. Three of the deaths were teenagers and the fourth was a 52-year-old man who was killed in Co Galway.
Road safety authorities said they were hoping road users of all kinds would redouble their efforts to ensure their safety over coming days.
Assistant Garda Commissioner Gerard Phillips asked all drivers to make sure their vehicles were properly equipped for dark winter evenings, while he said vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists should make an extra effort to ensure they could be seen. He also warned novice drivers to remember they were learners and not “make the mistake of thinking you know it all”.
The Garda and the Road Safety Authorities this weekend will launch Operation Learner Drive, a targeted check-up on novice drivers following previous experience that revealed poor compliance rates with regulations, such as not driving with a qualified driver and not displaying L plates.
The assistant commissioner said gardaí would target learner drivers and he “strongly advised” anyone thinking they could drive without adhering to the conditions “to think again”.
Noel Brett of the Road Safety Authority urged everyone to take extra care when using the roads over the bank holiday weekend.
“Thanks to our changed behaviour on the roads over the last number of years, it is possible to achieve a weekend with no fatalities, and what an achievement that would be,” he said. There was an issue of parental responsibility involved in overseeing use of a learner permit and appealed to parents of young learner drivers to “stop turning a blind eye to what’s going on”, he said.